Reciprocal links: are they great, crap or
something in between?
Reciprocal links are discussed controversially among search
engine marketers. Some think that reciprocal links are great,
others think that they are a waste of time, another group
thinks that reciprocal links work to some degree.
What do search engine marketers think about reciprocal links?
There are three main factions:
Group 1: reciprocal links have no effect at all on the position
of a website in the search results on Google.
Group 2: reciprocal links work just like any other inbound
Group 3: there's a threshold value. For example, you shouldn't
have more than 33% reciprocal inbound links.
Which group is right and should you use reciprocal links with
your website or not?
Is there a threshold value for reciprocal links?
Webmasters in group 3 think that a high number of reciprocal
links is a red flag for search engines. The idea behind this
is that links should not be trusted if (for example) 100%
of a site's inbound links are reciprocal.
However, this is not really a good indicator. If high quality
websites do link to each other, they won't harm their rankings
in any way.
For some sites, it is normal to have a high reciprocity percentage
Link building expert Eric Ward recently did a test. He found
out that there are websites for which it is perfectly normal
that they have almost 100% reciprocal links.
The more specific the topic of a website is, the more likely
it is that it will have a high reciprocity percentage. As
an example, Eric Ward used the website of "The Southeastern
Bat Diversity Network", an organization with a goal to
"conserve bats and their habitats in southeastern North
America through collaborative research, education, and management."
The top sites in that subject are all linked back and forth
to all other websites that write about bats. This is not surprising
and it shows that a high number of reciprocal links can also
be a sign of high quality. It depends on the topic of the
If the websites were about different topics, then the reciprocal
links would look suspicious.
Should you use reciprocal links for your website or not?
You don't have to worry if a link is a reciprocal link or
not. That does not matter. Reciprocal links are neither good
nor bad. They are just links and it always depends on the
individual link whether it is a good link or a bad link.
If a link comes from a website that is related to your website
then it is a good link. If the other website is related to
yours then you can link back and this won't cause any problems.
As long as you make sure that the links make sense to your
website visitors then everything is okay.
You can use IBP's link building tool to get links to your
website. IBP can help you with one-way links, reciprocal links,
links from blogs, links from related websites, links from
Internet directories and much more. It is a spam-free link
building tool that helps you to get high quality links.